I’m BLU

Some of you know I play FFXIV. Of course blue mage (BLU) was released yesterday and I had to give it a try (if only because I’m insane and need to max out every job and class).

At this point in time, BLU is a fun and insanely frustrating job. Being a limited job, you can’t just jump into queue for a random dungeon. However, 4 BLUs running Tam Tara Deepcroft is super overpowered even at level. I was missing a few good spells for that in my quest to learn another, but it didn’t seem to matter too much.

There’s the fun part: tearing through things. The frustrating part: learning all the spells. For those unaware, you need to fight an enemy and see them use the spell to have a chance at learning it. A half dozen or so runs through Tam Tara starts to test even my patience.

The other frustrating part is so many people are running BLU and there are only a limited number of mobs in the open world that cast spells sometimes that it gets hugely bogged down in areas. When you need that spell for your job quest, it gets even worse.

I’ve been taking it slow, not pushing too much, trying to get a feel for the job and I’m already at level 25 (max 50 at current). I’m sure there are people already at 50. This job levels very quickly. Especially if you’re pretty good at leveling things fast and can figure out how to maximize your time.

Would I trade my red mage (RDM) main for BLU if I could? I don’t know. I tend to pick my main on how much fun the job is. I mained summoner (SMN) through Heavensward and bard (BRD) through ARR. Always seem to keep scholar (SCH) as my main healer, but I’ve been going back and forth on paladin (PLD) and dark knight (DRK) as what I want to tank on through Stormblood.

No idea if I’ll switch when Shadowbringers drops, but with the way BLU is set up right now, I hope they have some good things in store for the job. For now I’ll go back to snickering as I cause chaos and destruction with BLU, seeing what else I can do outside of entertaining FC mates with killing myself with some spells.

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I’ve been rather quiet

First, for those who follow me, I want to apologize for my long periods of silence. Things have been going on in my life that have kept me quiet. I won’t go into most of them, but especially for the past few weeks it seems to be one thing after another. Much of which makes me want to scream in frustration.

So in my silence I’ve been working my way through editing book 3. What’s up with Shattered Illusions? It’s still out to my beta readers until the end of the month and right now book 3 amuses me. We’ll see if it entertains my alpha reader when I release it to him.

I’ve also been playing FFXIV and have become almost obsessed with getting all the relics maxed out. I already had all of the 2.0 ones at least to Zenith (now Atma) when I started picking it up again – 2 were Zetas already turned in for 3.0 relics (I’m only at 3 Zetas now, but I’ve been lazy on those). I also had 4 or 5 of the 3.0 relics started and am up to 6 (I’m using the 2.0 Zeta relics to buy the stuff for the 3.0 relics because crystal farming is mind numbing and retainer space is limited). My main is now fully upgraded and I’ve got 3 more at i230.

And now that I’ve lost most of you…

I’ve been doing some sales lately on my book for the holidays. The ebook is again on sale at $0.99 now on Amazon, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, and Smashwords. I have the print version available through my online store for 20% off with the coupon code HOLIDAYS.

Other than that, just trudging along.

Game Night Tales: Olympics

Before I start, no we didn’t have a special Olympics event.

However, our fail ninja did actually manage to look spectacular in front of other people for once. Usually Sarla only pulls off epic feats when no one is looking and and soon as other PCs are watching her, the dice hate the player.

In trying to get back to Karameikos the ship they were on was attacked by pirates. Qadif, the party’s wizard, tried to sink the ship before it got close enough. It wasn’t enough. Pirates began boarding in two areas.

Savanas held one group while Brunnhilde tried to perform an epic jump to the other ship and couldn’t make it over the railing of the one she was one (full plate might have made that an issue…either that or paladins can’t jump). Most of the others began holding the other area.

Eventually the fodder died enough to allow our party to start jumping to the other ship. Sarla, in an epic twist of fate began performing Olympic-level acrobatics to get around enemies to kill them.

Savanas held her position after creating a small corpse wall – unsure of the footing with all the blood spilled on the deck. After some harassment from the DM, I had her cast Jump on herself and far outdo Sarla on acrobatics (to which then started the discussion of who was in what place for what medal). This also included jumping with both blades pointed down onto the boss on the deck below.

And that is how we celebrated the Olympics in game (and now Savanas has a ship).

Game Night Tales: Need a lock Pick

Stuck in a very unfriendly area that requires papers to basically exist (seriously, papers for everything and fines in the thousands of gold – bribery is rampant). My bard (Lindale) sneaks into a smaller town to the south to try and get an idea of what these papers look like so she can forge them. The party was unfortunately dumped here from another plane so they didn’t exactly arrive legally.

A few hours later and some of the rest of the party decides to go to town. Our wizard (Qadif) and cleric (Dorgan) go, end up at a tavern that makes a deal with them to get into the assessor’s office and then they will help the party get off of the island. My urban ranger (Savanas) decided to sneak into town at the same time and find Lindale.

Both Lindale and Savanas are now outside of the closed assessor’s office, hidden and looking at their options. Neither one has disable device.

In the meantime, the remainder of the party outside of town gets robbed and our druid (Delisa) helps get our rogue (Pick) out of the major city to the west. Pick has been busy lifting papers off of people, but he hasn’t exactly been trying to match the party.

Eventually everyone ends up at the tavern. Lindale begins talking to the people willing to get them off in exchange for getting into the assessor’s office and the worst pun of the night comes out: “We forgot our lock Pick.”

Grab Pick, get in, get what we need, and get our butts off of that island.

Game Night Tales: Sometimes things are prophetic

WARNING: Major spoilers ahead for Twisted Magics. So please, if you don’t want me to ruin a particular event, stop reading now.

Why did I put up a spoiler warning? Couldn’t I have told this gaming tale without it? Nope, because I had written the scene long before an all too similar event happened in game. It kind of freaked me out to be honest.

I’ve held off posting this tale as it happened roughly a week and a half before Twisted Magics launched.

Now, for those of you that have read through Twisted Magics know what happens to Big Black…

Savanas was first a D&D 3.5 (then Pathfinder) character of mine. We still use Mystara as a setting, which is vastly different from Terra, but I easily brought her skills and personality into my world. This included Big Black whose game name was Sirius. Retanei has Remus – totally made their animal companions when I was on a Harry Potter kick years ago. No regrets, but figured I should revamp their companions at least in name going into Terra. (Remus ended up being Artemis’ father)

Now, keep in mind, the mix of characters is vastly different from story to game also. Different fight. Different world… actually a totally different plane, but that’s a tale for another time. Going from game to story is one thing, but vice versa – that’s something else altogether. Especially when it is not at all intended to mimic the story.

cane-corso-mastiff-119.jpg

This is an Italian Mastiff. It’s what I had in mind for Sirius/Big Black.

What happened in game? Well, my bard, Lindale, Savanas, and Sirius snuck past the rest of the group fighting on the floor below. On the next level, they spot soldiers trying to hide to create an ambush. Six total. Lindale creates a Minor Image of our paladin, Brunnhilde, (who is still downstairs) and manages to confuse four of the guards into attacking it.

Savanas and Sirius manage to get the jump on the remaining two guards (who are trying to convince the other four they shouldn’t be attacking the Imaged Paladin). Savanas decapitates the boss of this group and Sirius enjoys mauling and dragging the other soldier to the floor.

Those two are quickly dispatched – Savanas went over to the one Sirius was working on and immediately killed him with two natural 20s and a confirmation. They moved on to the next two who finally realized they were fighting an illusion. And on a fun note: one pissed his pants after witnessing Savanas take down his boss so swiftly.

The rest of the party (sans the rogue, Pick, who is on the roof trying to figure out how to break a window and start blowing up the boss with his wand of fireball) gets upstairs and are now seeing a path of death being created by the two. They also see the Image Paladin. Most of them are confused and think that both of these Brunnhildes are real (it’s actually scary because she’s very violent).

Lindale thinks it’s hilarious and keeps up the image, which continues to confuse the remaining enemies. Savanas is wearing down, her strikes not so solid anymore. Sirius keeps hurting and bringing down his foe.

Then he gets up. The DM rolls 20. 20. And then confirms the hit, which is an instant death in our house rules. Our Brunnhilde’s player is in tears at this point. She was one of my beta readers and had gotten upset over the death of Big Black.

I have never seen so many people trying to figure out how to save a character and be utterly vengeful over it. Any of the normal characters it probably would have been a “oh well, reroll” kind of attitude. The death of this massive black dog just brought everyone low.

Savanas did not get her vengeance on the enemy that murdered her dog – the others jumped him before she could get a chance. The game ended that night with Savanas standing, swords dripping with blood, her anger barely contained (we didn’t continue on after this to the boss as it was late).

Admittedly, I had to haul myself out of Savanas’ head. I knew I’d be getting upset, but as a player, I had to rationally think through what would happen next. I never had an animal companion die before and needed to start thinking ahead and begin working with our DM to figure out how/when to replace Sirius.

And it broke my heart to write that. Here, have a puppy.64c1fef3233eacc8f9666284d3b7f15f

Please note that the images are not mine, but I could not tell who they originally belonged to in order to give credit.

Muse Monday: In rememberance

Some people like to put in things for people who have been in their lives. I’m sure someday I will, but my latest little cameo was to a player character in our gaming group that one of my characters killed.

He took a swing at her first. It was the last thing he did.

Anyway, I didn’t give him a glamorous or even remotely nice little place, but his name was mentioned. At the very least it entertained me and I’m sure once a couple of my upcoming beta readers (who are also players) get their hands on that part, it will make them smile (at least it wasn’t one of theirs I inadvertently killed).

Perhaps not the most Muse Monday worthy topic, but he ended up in a large section I rewrote and I had people look at me funny for giggling maniacally. Did I mention my characters were not fond of him to begin with?

Muse Monday: Paladins

2016-06-16 20.55.16I saw this image on my Facebook feed and of course sent it along to the paladin in our gaming group. Brunnhilde takes this as far as she can on a regular basis. She’s got a really good diplomacy, but her violent tendencies make it ineffective. One of these days, they’ll let the bard take over for talks.

However, I suppose the same could be said of Silver Blaise, though he’s not to Brunnhilde’s extreme. He’s more of a protector and a healer, though I can’t say how events outside of the church may change his disposition over time.

No, that wasn’t a hint at anything – I really don’t know.

PaladinsWhat I find interesting about the alignments in tabletop RPGs is that they are far more flexible than most people give them credit for. I bought my husband a shirt with this saying to the right a while back. And I love the complexity that can be brought to the otherwise “goody two-shoes” character.

Though I still enjoy playing chaotic neutral characters predominantly, but I’m also enjoying the struggle right now in game of my one lawful neutral character. Brunnhilde might get decked (or worse) for kill-stealing from Savanas who is currently out for revenge. More of that story in a later post.

Do I adhere to the alignment system for my characters in my books? No, I don’t keep that stuff in mind while I’m writing and I’ve never assigned an alignment to anyone that hasn’t come from gaming. Silver may be the exception as he is a paladin and  I usually walk the line at points with him. Case in point in Twisted Magics is when the reporter approaches him and Ketayl. I’ve got another fun one in book 2, but obviously, I’m not sharing right now.

Things like this sometimes help generate personalities or help determine the course of action a character might take when I’m not certain, but like I said, I don’t typically keep this in mind while writing.